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    1. Application

    SIMGs who meet the General Eligibility Requirements can apply to RACS for a Specialist Assessment or Area of Need (AoN) Assessment in Australia. 

    2. Review of application

    The SIMG Department will review an application once received to ensure that:

    the information contained within the application demonstrates eligibility to receive a specialist assessment

    the documentation is complete. The SIMG Department will contact applicants directly if further information is required.

    Applicants have 40 days from the date the request is sent, to submit the additional information requested by the SIMG Department. If additional information is not received within 40 days, the application will be deemed inactive and the specialist assessment fee less 10% (administrative fee) will be refunded.

    Applications will be activated for assessment upon receipt of all requisite documentation. From the date of activation, the Specialist Assessment process (points 3 to 6 below) normally takes up to three months to be completed.

    3. Document based assessment 

    RACS undertakes a document-based assessment to determine if a SIMG's education and training is comparable to that of an Australian or Aotearoa New Zealand trained surgeon. It includes assessments by the RACS Clinical Director and SIMG representative of the relevant Specialty Training Committee/Board.

    We look at:

    the quality, quantity and scope of clinical experience
    level of formal assessment including specialist qualifications in surgery 
    recent relevant practice (i.e. practice within the last 2 years) 
    relevant professional skills and attributes
    For AoN applications, the suitability of the position is also assessed. 

    4. Document based assessment outcome 

    The recommendations which may arise from the document-based assessment are as follows:

    Not Comparable: no interview is required, and the interview component of the assessment fee will be refunded.
    An interview is required to finalise assessment.

    5. Assessment interview 

    SIMGs who satisfy the requirements of the document-based assessment will be invited to a semi-structured, online, panel interviewApplicants will be advised of the date and time of interview approximately 2-4 weeks prior.

    The members of the Assessment Interview Panel comprise:

      The Specialty Chair and/or SIMG representative of the relevant Specialty Training Committee/Board
    A representative from the Committee of Surgical Education Training
    A community representative.

    The purpose of the interview is to provide the assessment panel with an opportunity to evaluate and clarify any aspect of the applicant's:

    surgical training and education, and professional experience as outlined in the documentation provided; and
    ascertain specific aspects of the applicant's surgical practice e.g. medical expertise, judgement, clinical decision making and technical expertise.

    The interview also allows an assessment to be made on the applicant's professional communication skills, spoken communication in English, ability to evaluate their surgical practice and professional ethics.

    SIMGs will have the opportunity to demonstrate their views and knowledge on these issues by responding to a series of standard questions and scenarios. The interview also provides the applicant with an opportunity to ask questions.

    On completion of the interview, the Assessment Interview Panel will make an interim determination concerning the SIMG’s comparability with a surgeon who has completed the RACS Surgical Education and Training (SET) program.

    The opinions of each Assessment Interview Panel member will be considered in formulating the interim assessment recommendation. The members will then provide a consensus assessment recommendation to the Committee of Surgical Education and Training, who approves the recommendation.

    6. Assessment outcome (RACS recommendation)

    The recommendations which may be made following the assessment interview are:

    Not comparable to an Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand trained surgeon
    Partially comparable to an Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand trained surgeon
    Substantially comparable to an Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand trained surgeon

    Please refer to Assessment Outcomes and Definitions for more information on each outcome and related requirements. 

    NOTE FOR AoN ASSESSMENT: If a SIMG is assessed as partially or substantially comparable but the AoN position is deemed not suitable, the SIMG may still pursue a specialist pathway but would be required to find another position suitable for clinical assessment purposes.

    RACS will formally advise the SIMG and the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) of the assessment outcome and the related recommended pathway. Each assessment outcome is approved by the Committee of Surgical Education and Training and cannot be altered over the course of RACS’ supervised practice without approval from the Committee of Surgical Education and Training.

    SIMGs wishing to accept the recommended pathway will have 28 days to advise RACS in writing of their acceptance.


    SIMGs who accept a recommended pathway to Fellowship will be required to undertake a period of up to 24 months (full-time equivalent) of clinical assessment of their surgical practice under supervision and in accordance to Medical Board of Australia (MBA) Guidelines: Supervised Practice for IMGs. This is referred to as RACS supervised practice. 

    The purpose of RACS supervised practice is to:

    familiarise the SIMG with surgical practice in Australia
    facilitate assessment of practice performance
    address any deficiencies
    confirm that the SIMG has the skills and attributes to an Australian or Aotearoa New Zealand trained surgeon
    confirm the recommendation formulated during the assessment